Operation LIPSTICK: MBTA ad campaign takes aim at women carrying illegal guns
City leaders hope a new ad campaign going up on Boston’s MBTA transit system will discourage women from carrying and purchasing illegal guns for boyfriends, husbands and other men who can’t legally obtain the firearms.
Operation LIPSTICK – Ladies Involved in Putting a Stop to Inner-City Killings – today kicked off the first ad campaign of its kind in the nation, according to organizers, which encourages women against buying, hiding and carrying the illegal guns that law enforcement officials say often end up being used in crimes.
The ad banners show a woman in handcuffs with the headline, “His Crime, Your Time – Holding his gun can land you in jail.”
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley recounted two recent incidents in which women were caught carrying firearms for male criminals.
One involved an 18-year-old woman who was discovered to be in possession of crack cocaine and a semiautomatic gun with 14 rounds of ammunition. Her male companion, 28, had $1,900 in cash, and police believed the gun and drugs to be his.
“He took all the money, she took all the risk,” Conley said.
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said 83 illegal guns have been pulled off city streets so far this year, and “several of them” taken off females.
“That’s alarming, we haven’t seen that in the past,” said Evans.
Time will tell if the advertisements will have any effect on the gun numbers, though officials are hopeful.
“I’m wondering if there is a deeper issue that needs to be addressed,” said MBTA passenger Dira Barbosa. “I’m not saying that this initiative won’t work. It may tailor some of it, but I also feel like maybe it won’t tailor the majority of it…. People know that smoke is bad for them, but they’ll do it anyway. And there is reason why they’re doing what they’re doing. [The ads] may help a little bit, but I don’t think it will completely cure the issue.”